City Council Meeting: September 11, 2012

Agenda Item: 8-B

To:                   Mayor and City Council 

From:              Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works


Subject:          Exposition Light Rail Water Main Betterment Components on Colorado Avenue



Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council:

1.   Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute agreement, as may be appropriate, in an amount not-to-exceed $2,300,000 (includes a contingency and reserve) with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority to perform final engineering services and construction of water main betterments on Colorado Avenue.

2.   Authorize budget changes, including appropriations, as outlined in the Financial Impact and Budget Actions Section of this report.

3.   Authorize the Director of Public Works to issue any necessary change orders to complete additional work within budget authority.


Executive Summary

On September 13, 2011, the City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Authority) and execute the Master Cooperative Agreement (MCA). The MCA states that the City-owned water mains, which are within a nine-foot distance from the track, are to be relocated by the Authority.  City staff identified necessary water main improvements, or betterments as defined in the MCA, and relocations of water mains along Colorado Avenue. These betterments are recommended for implementation during the construction of the Exposition Light Rail (EXPO) project to minimize future traffic and train operational interruptions. In addition, implementation of these betterments will result in cost savings to the City versus performing the improvements after the EXPO Project.


Staff recommends authorizing an agreement with the Authority to perform final engineering services and construction of the betterments to the City water main in an amount not-to-exceed $2,300,000.



The Expo line will connect from Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica with three stations in Santa Monica: Bergamot Arts Center (Olympic/26th Street), Memorial Park/17th Street Station (Colorado/17th Street) and Downtown (Colorado/4th Street).  The Exposition Light Rail Construction Authority (Authority) is designing and building the line, and it will be turned over to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for operation following completion and testing.  Phase 1 of the line to Culver City opened April 2012, just as construction began on Phase 2 to extend the line to Santa Monica.  Phase 2 of the Expo line is scheduled to open early 2016.


On July 13, 2010, Council unanimously adopted a range of betterments to incorporate into the City’s three Expo stations that included separate station platforms for east and west bound trains at the Bergamot/26th Street Station and a second entrance and Memorial Park/17th Street Station.  On May 24, 2011, Council authorized a funding agreement between the City, Expo and/or Metro to pay for baseline elements of the light rail and stations as the required 3% local match contribution for completion of the light rail line in Santa Monica.


On June 28, 2011, Council approved preliminary engineering services at Memorial Park/17th Street and Bergamot/26th Street Stations.  On September 13, 2011, it authorized negotiation with the Authority for the betterments at these stations.  On December 13, 2011, Council authorized an agreement with the Authority to perform final engineering and construction of betterments for the two stations.


On January 24, 2012, Council authorized an agreement with the Authority for the required 3% local match and an agreement for engineering and construction of betterments at the Downtown/4th Street Station.




The Authority and its design builder, Skanska-Rados Joint Venture (SRJV) has completed pre-final design (85% plan completion) for the necessary City facility relocations on Colorado Avenue.  The City’s water main is one of the facilities identified for relocation and is in conflict with the proposed Exposition Light Rail on Colorado Avenue. In accordance with the MCA, a facility parallel to the tracks will be relocated at a minimum nine-foot distance from outside rail. The Authority will relocate a portion of the City’s water main by replacement in kind.  For example, an 8-inch section of water main between Lincoln Court and 10th Street will be replaced in kind from 8-inch ACP (Asbestos Cement Pipe) to 8-inch DIP (Ductile Iron Pipe).


City staff determined it would be beneficial and cost efficient to upgrade some sections of currently undersized water mains.  In addition to pipe upsizing, there is a proposed water main replacement between 4th and 5th Streets which was not identified in the Authority design and six new laterals for future services, which would cross the tracks. The laterals would allow future connections to the City’s water system without excavating under the railway and removing train tracks. 


It is beneficial to perform the necessary upgrades and replacement to the City’s water main at this time, since the future street configuration would be condensed and any future construction within 10-feet of the dedicated railway will have to be performed during Metro non-operating hours, thus costing more and having a longer construction time in the future.


The scope of work for the water main betterments would include completion of final design documents and construction of improvements.  The construction includes upgrades to the proposed rearrangements by the Authority and installation of new water main and laterals at locations on Colorado Avenue.




Staff from the Water Recourses and Civil Engineering Divisions determined that the following Colorado Avenue water main upgrades would be the most efficient, cost effective, and least destructive if implemented during construction of the Expo Light Rail Line. The upgrades below would allow the City to have a uniform 16-inch water main from 4th Street to 10th Street on Colorado Avenue.  Attachment A graphically shows the proposed upgrades. 

1.    5th Street to 5th Court: Authority is requested to replace an existing 10-inch water main. City betterment request would upgrade the proposed 10-inch line to a 16-inch water main. 

2.    5th Court to Lincoln Court: Authority is requested to replace an existing 12-inch water main. City betterment request would upgrade the proposed 12-inch line to a 16-inch water main. 

3.    Lincoln Court to 10th Street: Authority is requested to replace an existing 8-inch water main. City betterment request would upgrade the proposed 8-inch line to a 16-inch water main. 

4.    Water Main Crossing the tracks at 6th and 7th Streets: Authority is requested to replace section of existing 6-inch water main.  City betterment request would upgrade the proposed 6-inch line to an 8-inch water main. 


New Water Main

In the baseline design and at the pre-final design stage, the water main rearrangement on Colorado Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets were not identified. However, with the construction of the Terminus Station on Colorado between 4th and 5th Streets, replacing the existing 10-inch water main line with a new 16-inch water main would be most effective and least disruptive to traffic flow. The Water Resources’ asset management program identified the need to replace this water main within the next five years.  Therefore, staff recommends performing the work during the EXPO light rail construction.


Laterals for Future Service Connections

Following construction of the EXPO light rail project, Colorado Avenue will have a 26-foot wide dedicated railway in the center of the street with the water main only on the north side of the street. A section of Colorado, between Lincoln Boulevard and 17th Street, does not have any water mains on the southern side. Staff determined a need for future service connection on the south side. Any future connection would have to cross the railway unless service lines (laterals) are installed before the railway is constructed. Staff recommends a betterment consisting of six laterals for future services at 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, Euclid, and 14th Streets. Construction of these laterals prior to the railway is more cost effective and creates fewer impacts on traffic and future train operations.



The Authority obtained cost proposals from Skanska-Rados Joint Venture (SRJV) for the City-requested betterments. Exposition Construction Authority’s initial proposal was $2,804,373 for the construction and final design. This number excludes an Authority fee and construction contingency. City staff value-engineered the original request and reduced the scope. City staff estimates that the new proposal, including a 10% construction contingency, will range between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000.  Staff would work with the Authority to reduce the final cost to the fullest extent possible.


The Authority has agreed not to charge a fee on any upgrades but only on new water main installations. In addition, a City controlled design reserve of $300,000 would be budgeted by the City. The City controlled reserve would be reduced to zero dollars ($0) upon completion of final design documents and those unused funds would be utilized for a construction contingency.  Only changes authorized by the Director of Public Works would be approved for payment to the Authority. 


Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

The modification to be awarded to the Authority will not exceed $2,300,000.  Funds in the amount of $700,000 are included in the FY 2012-14 Capital Improvement Plan budget at account C257064.589000.  


Award of the agreement requires an additional appropriation from available fund balance of the Water Fund in the amount of $1,600,000 to account C257064.589000.  


Prepared by:            Alex Nazarchuk, P.E., Civil Engineer

                                    Gil Borboa, P.E., Water Resources Manager





Forwarded to Council:







Martin Pastucha

Director of Public Works


Rod Gould

City Manager



Attachment:  A – Figure with requested water main betterments on Colorado Avenue